What are the car seat laws in Alabama?

Children in Alabama are allowed to wear adult seat belts at the age of six. There is a $25 fine for not properly using car seats.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Alabama car seat laws are only for kids under 6
  • There is a $25 fine for anyone not using their child’s car seat properly
  • Kids are only required to face the rear until they are one or 20 pounds

Every state has its own government entity in charge of keeping citizens safe on the road. In Alabama, it’s the Department of Public Safety (DPS). One of the most important laws the DPS issues is the one regarding child safety seats.

Not all children are not big enough to sit safely and appropriately in a car without a car seat or booster, which is why these laws are in effect.

Every person driving with kids in the car in Alabama must know what this law entails, how to include car seat replacement costs in your search for insurance, and the penalties associated with not properly restraining children in the car. Make sure you use our free insurance comparison tool above today! 

Alabama Car Seat Laws for Kids

Alabama laws related to proper child safety seats are more lenient than many other states. In Alabama, the only laws in place are for children younger than six.

Many other states require children remain in boosters until they are at least 8, and they often encourage parents to consider leaving their kids in these seats until they are 12 if they do not outgrow the size and height requirements.

Alabama law has not yet adopted the recommended rear-facing until 2 law many other states have adopted in the past few years.

Children are only required by law to remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are one-year-old or 20 pounds.

It’s important to notice the “or” in this statement. In some states, it’s one year and 20 pounds. In Alabama, it’s whichever comes first.

Once children reach one year of age or 20 pounds, they’re free to sit in a forward-facing car seat. It must be a seat that fits the size of the child, which means it must be good for kids who weigh at least 20 pounds. They must remain in this seat until they are 5 or they reach 40 pounds. Again, this is a whichever comes first kind of situation.

Once a child reaches 5 or 40 pounds, they move up to a booster seat until they are 6. Once they reach 6, parents may allow their children to sit without a child safety seat.

The only other law regarding children and safety belts in Alabama is for kids 15 and under in the back seat. They must wear a seatbelt all the time.

Once they reach the age of 16, however, they are no longer required to wear a seatbelt in the car unless they are in one of the front seats.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has different beliefs regarding the safety of kids in the car.

The AAP recommends parents leave their kids in rear-facing car seats until they are least two-years-old.

They also recommend kids stay in a booster seat until they are anywhere from 8 to 12 or they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall. The AAP also recommends kids remain in the back seat until they are at least 13-years-old.


Important Car Seat Information

Many people are unaware their insurance company covers the cost to replace a damaged car seat in case of an accident. When you are searching for car insurance policies, be sure to ask about this type of replacement coverage.

Car seats are expensive, and help to buy a new one following an accident is so important. It’s not recommended you ever put your child in a damaged car seat even if it appears undamaged. It’s too dangerous.

The best thing any parent can do for their kids when they install a car seat for the first time is to take it to an Alabama police or fire station to have it checked.

Police and firefighters are trained to properly install car seats and educate drivers how to do the same. It’s not always easy, and it can have devastating effects if the seat is improperly installed.

All car seats are built differently. They don’t all work for kids the same size and height, and they are not all meant to do the same thing.

Be sure you do your research before purchasing a seat. Some are meant only for kids who have already reached 20 pounds and at least a year old.

Others are meant only for newborn babies under 20 pounds. If you buy the wrong seat for your baby, your baby’s life is in danger.

Alabama Car Seat Laws and Coverage

Any driver pulled over or in an accident with a child improperly restrained is subject to a $25 fine. This fine is per child, so yours could be more expensive if you have more than one child in the car with you when you are pulled over or involved in an accident.

Be sure all children are properly seated and buckled while in your vehicle.

One very important piece of advice that has nothing to do with the law in Alabama regards used car seats. It’s not a good idea to use them, but it’s not against the law. If a car seat has been involved in an accident of any caliber, it’s no longer considered a safe seat.

It might not restrain a child or prevent injury if it’s been involved in a previous accident. Be sure you consider replacement value of a damaged car seat when you choose an insurance company because it’s for the safety of your child.

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